There has been a recent surge of fires near my hometown of La Ronge, SK. Looking at the map I shared on Facebook the other day looks scary. Many of the main concerns of those who shared my post, were of the cabins they have out in their traplines and of mushroom land. Traditional land is at risk and people are not taking it lightly. Thankfully, there has been no reports yet of any cabins burning down, that I have seen.
This current forest fire situation reminds of the evacuation of La Ronge and area, back in 2015. Fires were popping up all around our tri-communities of La Ronge, Air Ronge and Lac La Ronge Indian Reserves. First, they implemented a voluntary evacuation and later a mandatory evac. I was at home at the time when the RCMP came to my apartment and told us to get up and leave with what we had on. There was no time to grab anything like clothes or any other personal belongings. It was traumatic, but I was able to keep a sound mind.
I had written a post about the ordeal back in 2015, however, through revamping and revising my website, the article got lost in the shuffle. I was able to find the original article from July 2015, in my archives recently and here is the link if you want to read it (many old news links in the article). – https://firstnationstories.com/?page_id=4119
I had saved a fire map of June 9, 2015, and now we can compare the map from that time to the map I am sharing today, July 10, 2021.
If you look at the map from 2021, you will notice there are more fires, however, if you look at the map from 2015, the fires are much closer to La Ronge and my old home reserve of Morin Lake. Notice the fire is closer to Sikachu than Hall Lake (Morin Lake Reserve 217, is in the two blocks of pink to the west of La Ronge). A cousin of mine lost her house in the fire in Sikachu. She ended up getting a new house in Hall Lake, which is the same reserve, but a different community (just trying to be clear).
While we are at the tail end of the COVID-19 pandemic, it would devastate many family’s to be evacuated and live in close quarters as we did during the evacuation of 2015. We must all salute the firefighters for putting their lives on the line to put the fires out. They are the real heroes that should to be looked up to.
While we have been separated to an extent because of the pandemic, an evacuation would make it more difficult to recover from the traumatic events that we have already experienced.
Take care, and look after each other.
Saskatchewan Fire Map (updated daily) – http://environment.gov.sk.ca/firefiles/activefires.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2ULOzrK1DlTtzQ3Md-JtS5Dr3B9WtKAZfUYxnWDFvf-nsZ5uMCuBCsSNM